Exploring online for the best and worst real estate engagements, it is becoming clear we may grow weary of telling the bad news where digital professionals is concerned. Last week an excursion into Chicago's digital realm proved to be a battleground at least, but not exactly sparkling where agency excellence is concerned. Today we cover some mid size markets from Tallahassee, but later on Kalamazoo too.
Just to set the right tempo, perhaps we can set some readers straight as to our purpose and methodology here. Where critiques of broker sites is concerned, let it be known that positive reviews serve our network far better than negative ones. The purpose is to help agents and their potential customers - really. This leads to our other motivation - stopping the whining. Sure, websites and your Twitter accounts do not rival all the other tools at your disposal, but social media, blogs, video, comments, forums, and websites are channels never the less. I hope the reader can see, an integrated approach is what's needed. If not?
Century 21 First Realty leads the pack of agents intent on reshaping Tallahassee's industry. At least this is true for certain Google queries. The twelve or thirteen thousand people a month who visit Joe Manausa's real estate site - well, they are not "wowed" by any means. But, despite the Web 1.0 look and function of this website, there are many advasnced and useful aspects too.
For one thing the company blog is superb for what it does. It is not exactly an award winning WordPress theme, but the info and knowledge exhibited there is very helpful. Joe Manausa is a fine writer actually, but then West Point graduates tend to be articulate. Back to the dark side of the digital force though, while Joe's site makes use of Facebook and Twitter a bit, nowhere is the so called "conversation" very prevalent. If it were not for Joe's articles on the blog being tweeted, not many would notice.
As a marketing or even branding tool then, Century 21 First Realty is pretty much useless. This is unfortunate, because the information there, and even the agents, appear to be top notch. Analysis? Digitally impaired.
Ring the Rivers dot com? The short and sweet of Tallahassee's number two Google result is - forget about it. About 5 million websites went under during the dot com era better engaged than these guys. Horrible. Thank goodness only about 50 people a day are subjected to such careless mediocrity.
Yes, it's that bad. If Gene and Rebekah Rivers actually had a dream back in 1989, the online version of it never came to fruition. The reason I say "forget about it" is because this agency is not even online. And just what is so bad about that you say? If this is number two, what about number twenty? For the social media guru reading this; "Yes, this site is in the top 1o for real estate in Tallahassee."
Jacobs-Williamson Real Estate, AKA Tallyopenhouses dot com, as you would expect given the view above, is not a Silicon Valley, cutting edge, real estate startup. Tom & JoAnn Jacobs and Scott Williamson founded what is obviously a family oriented, down to Earth agency. For a brick and mortar real estate team, the crew looks like a wholesome lot to take care of your personal home buying needs.
That is, out in the corn field, or across the fence at the BBQ. But selling your home to an out of towner? The brass tacks here are, if it were not for the overall weak digital landscape Tallahassee exhibits, competition would exclude this team from selling anything online. The good news is, the site's listings are easy to search, and the media player shows decent images too. No Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, Netvibes, or even refined listing showcase - thankfully though - only 2 people a day get dumped here.
Bill Lord's website sits beneath a bunch of cookie cutter national entries, and the aforementioned thoroughbreds, in what has to be the worst engaged market for real estate in the Universe (until we find another one worse, I will remember Tallahassee). I am not sure this site was cutting edge when they invented the abacus? But then Bill does not look like a Spring chicken either.
To be honest, I am not even sure what the proper name of Bill's agency is, that's how informative his online presence is. I assume it is Armor Realty Of Tallahassee, Inc., but there is some room for error. Bill has had someone pluck a Facebook and LinkedIn badges and links there, and a blog too! - no doubt Bill's commitment to informing the waiting Tallahassee buyers of the world demanded such. To be fair to Bill, not everyone can be an Internet guru - but my motto is "anything worth doing." The good news from Bill? If you want to take over the Tallahassee online real estate game, call me.
Normally I would do five brief reviews in a piece like this, but I simply cannot go on. Besides, the other top positions on Google in this search belong to Trulia, Zillow, and the like. The human face is just not there. At least for Bill Lord up there, he has not come in last where traffic is concerned. Compete has his digital realm at about 455 peeps a month. Besides some small positives for Tallahassee real estate online, my view is "The gate is wide open for anyone to waltz in and take over." I am finding all of this so amazing. A whole profession blind to the possibility of the Internet. Below is the Compete graph for these agencies.